Vice President, Worldwide Diversity and Inclusion, Pfizer Inc., New York City
For Leslie A. Mays, life is truly meant to be lived to its fullest, taking advantage of all that is on offer! As vice president of worldwide diversity and inclusion at Pfizer Inc., she works with senior global leadership teams across the world’s largest pharmaceutical company to develop and drive change strategies. One of her favorite sayings—and book by the same title—“Well-behaved women seldom make history,” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, speaks volumes about Mays’s philosophy for her own life and her willingness to take risks and seek opportunities with few limits.
Since assuming her current position in late 2005, Mays has established and overseen the launch of Pfizer’s first global diversity and inclusion strategy, including a senior-level education program that has reached more than 1,000 of the company’s top leaders around the globe. She has helped to establish and co-chairs the company’s first-ever Worldwide Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Committee, which is made up of some of the company’s senior-most operating executives. Mays also led to establishing the firm’s first global senior-women’s leadership initiative, engaging more than 500 women across Europe, Asia and the United States.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Mays served as vice president and head of global diversity and inclusiveness at Royal Dutch Shell Group in London. She also held corporate leadership and diversity positions at successful companies, including General Mills Inc. and Reebok International Ltd. Committed to helping others gain access to more rewarding corporate careers, she is a member of the board of directors of Cornell University’s Chief Diversity Officers Roundtable, The Executive Leadership Foundation and Evidence Dance Company, a senior fellow at the American Leadership Forum and the immediate past board president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
Mays is a graduate of Texas Southern University, located in her own hometown of Houston. Her primary source of inspiration is her deceased mother, Donna Mays, and her partner, Antonio Martin. In addition to her love of adventure, travel and collecting fine art, one of her life goals is to become a true philanthropist.